It isn't always easy to find ways to explain the other side, to talk about the Saturdays into Sundays spent offering constant care and companionship for an ill relative or the frenetic mornings filled with snapping shot of preschoolers. Volunteering in the routine ways that so many of us do— coaching, mentoring, singing and more care taking, are all things that we do when we aren't at 196 Glen.
Sometimes, though, it's more. A donated chunk of time does more than help someone, it changes the person who gave it. Paula has been a non-practicing registered nurse since she joined Trampoline full time late last year. She has missed it, so when she suggested offering a week of her time at the Ranch, we all thought it was a great idea. We also thought we'd be lost without her for a full week (we were), but we gave a collective, "Go for it!"
During her time she shared things on Facebook and sent out Tweets, but a journal entry she shared painted it in a way that can't be surpassed. She's let us share it here in hopes that one of you reading this will be compelled as she was, to offer your time. She promises that it will be more than time spent away from your routine, it will be time unforgettably spent.
You know that feeling you get when you're high above everything? Whether it's at the top of a long climb and your looking at the view, or your taking off in a plane and are watching as things down below get smaller and smaller or even when you reach the top of the stairs and you turn around to look at something down below? You know that feeling... kind of a twinkle in your belly, a lightheadedness?
Well I experienced that today at the high ropes course at Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne. I have spent the last week volunteering as a nurse at this wonderful camp for children with life threatening illnesses. Some are wheelchair bound due to their illness while others have illnesses that allow them to be up and walking around like the rest of us. Today it didn't matter which category the kids were in-they all went on the high ropes course. The wheelchair kids were removed from their chairs and placed in seats with ropes and carabeaners already attached. They were hoisted and guided up and into harnesses made especially for their seats. They were attached to the zip line and sent soaring through the air like eagles, flying and weightless. Peels of laughter and screams of joy could be heard throughout the forest as could the cheers from their fellow campers down below.
So that feeling, that "flying" feeling... I felt that today, only me feet were still firmly planted on the ground. I felt it though, just by watching these kids fly! I will remember it always...